Earlier this month, in Houston, Texas, a 10-year-old girl was arrested and charged with the rape of a young boy who was 4 years old at the time of the incident. The girl was taken into custody for allegedly sexually assaulting the young boy back in April of this year.
Reports indicate that the girl was participating in a game of “doctor” with several children in an apartment courtyard when a neighbor witnessed activity unsettling enough to prompt a call to the little boy’s parents. Several months later, the girl, whose name has not been released because she is a minor, was arrested.
Most of the details surrounding the case are being withheld by local police, who cite her age as the main reason. Her mother’s name has also not been released for privacy reasons.
What is known is that the girl was arrested in her home by police, an ordeal which she found to be terrifying. She is quoted as saying, “I was crying and they took me to the car and I didn’t want to get in and I was crying and I was moving and trying not to get in the police car and my mom told me to calm down.”
She was then held at a juvenile detention center for four days before a lawyer was made available to her. When asked about the time spent in the juvenile center, her mother described her as very scared and confused. At one point the girl thought that a visit from her mother meant she could go home and the mother stated that getting her daughter to understand what was happening was difficult.
Quanell X, a local attorney, eventually stepped in to help the 10-year-old girl face her rape charges and described the alleged incident as, “nothing more than inappropriate horseplay.”
The girl’s mother also admits that the crime may have occurred but insists that her child did not understand the gravity of the situation. “She was just being a child having fun and playing. She didn’t know she was doing anything wrong.”
According to the mother, police denied her access to her daughter while her daughter was being questioned regarding the charges. The girl emerged from the interrogation in hysterics from fear, claiming to have been threatened by the police with more time in juvenile detention if she didn’t confess.
The young girl’s court date is in October and if convicted she may be required to register as a sex offender. X asserts that this level of prosecution is excessive.
Little attention has been paid to the 4-year-old who was allegedly victimized in this incident.
Determining whether the young girl’s behavior was deviant or childishly short-sighted is a matter that is best not left up to the public. According to Dr.Toni Cavanagh Johnson, a licensed psychologist, many factors go into the emotional and behavioral profile of sexual deviance and the simple act itself is not enough to understand how problematic the act may or may not be.
As executive director of the New England Adolescent Research Institute, Steve Bengis, points out, “There’s a long continuum, from kids who will never do it again to a kid who probably will be an adult rapist/pedophile.”
Details on any assessments made to determine where on this spectrum this 10-year-old girl may fall have not been made available but the charges of rape still stand.
Written by: Vanessa Blanchard